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Old 3rd August 2021, 06:22 PM   #315
Jim McDougall
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
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Originally Posted by fernando View Post
Sure thing, Jim; but i take it that such marks were not (at all) so much copied as written makers names.
Its really hard to say which instance was more prevalent, and of course it depended greatly on when, where, and who. There were always attempts to regulate the proper use of markings by guilds etc. but naturally deviation is inevitable, so purloined marks were always possible.

One of the most well established signals on markings etc. on blades made in Germany (not only Solingen, but Munich as well) bearing spurious marks and inscriptions is these assembled incongruently. For example an inscription or name used along with the marking of an earlier Toledo smith which does not match.

In Solingen also, names were used in the sense of a 'brand', and the famed Toledo 'Sahagum' name of the previous century became much favored for clientele in Europe and North Countries.
The well known 'Spanish motto' (draw me without reason etc) was used on Solingen made dragoon sword blades specifically for the colonies in New Spain around early 18th c. However, with this motto, as you pointed out some years back, it does seem to have existed earlier .

The most well known of purloined names was ANDREA FERARA, the well known Belluno maker, whose name became a symbol of quality, and used by Solingen specifically for Scottish cutlers. Blades with this name have been found on occasion in other context, but almost invariably occur on Scottish swords.

I have seen the names JESUS and MARIA on rapier blades which most probably represent the Toledo smith Tomas Aiala on a rapier blade found on a late 17th century Spanish shipwreck off Panama. It seems this marking with one name one side the other obverse, was known to be used by only two Toledo smiths of previous century, but the mark at the ricasso had nothing to do with either, so it would seem this was again a Solingen product.

As the blade industry in Toledo had been steadily deteriorating through the 17th century, and was all but gone by the end, Solingen was of course eager to supply blades in their stead.
The use of Spanish names and markings became almost standard on these German blades as symbolic of the quality of the renowned Toledo.

Last edited by Jim McDougall; 3rd August 2021 at 06:46 PM.
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